Dear Mama Liberia, We, a group of concerned citizens of your premises, a group of citizens who also happens to be your children, write to congratulate you on your 165th Birthday and to also ask you concerning how you feel about your age that is virtually bereft of any concrete achievements.
We congratulate you, Mama Liberia, for your existence thus far. You mere existence after all the horrible situations that you have gone through since your birth not only make us feel proud of you, but also make us hopeful that your best days are still ahead. Happy Birthday, Mama Liberia!
That said, we would like to know why you are this poor, when most of your sisters who gained their independence long after yours are better off than you are. What’s the cause? What’s the problem?
That you are suffering, that you really have nothing to boast of, and that you and your children only glory in great age, not in great achievements, is something that bothers many of us. Why are you like this? We wish to know, for your condition shames us in many ways. Who is mainly responsible for how you look, sweet woman, and how do you feel about your age and your condition?
Are you to blame for your condition, or is it your children who are to be blamed for the situation you find yourself in? Or, still, should we conclude that it is neither you nor your children whose fault it is, but the fault of some outside group? Are there others out there, who are trying to tie you down, or is it your own children who are doing this to you.
Even in your capital and its immediate environs, there is darkness. Hundreds of thousands of your children don’t remember the last time they slept with lights on in their houses. Your streets and roads are old and small. Besides, there are spoilt roads all over the city. In fact, you don’t even really have roads. Why is it so, when the cost of a minister’s car could fix a community road? Motor roads in other countries are completely different from what you have here. They are bigger and better. How do you feel about your great age that lacks great achievements? Are you ashamed? Do you feel bad?
Are you like this because we your children don’t really love you, but we pretend to do? In other countries, the governments there have government-constructed buildings, which they use as offices. Here, it is different. The government continues to rent private structures for which they pay exorbitant fees. Who’s responsible for your condition, and how do you feel about being 165 years old in such a condition?
Your children living in your capital live as if they were in the remotest part of your premises. No pipe-borne water. They move around from place to place to fetch safe-drinking water as if they were living in some village lacking water. If this is happening right in your capital, imagine what is happening in the villages of your land. How do you feel about your great age that is not accompanied by great achievements?
Houses and household items that should be things of the past, things that should be found in museums, are the very things that most of your children use, as if this is not the 21st century, and as if you are not the oldest independent republic of grandmother Africa. There are mat and mud houses all over the place. There are coal irons all over the place. How do you feel about your great age that is bereft of great achievements?
We, a concerned group of your children mentioned above, are proud to have you as our mother. That’s why we join our other brothers and sisters to wish you Happy Birthday on your turning 165. But, at the same time, because of your sad condition, we would like to know why you are like this. Anyway, because of space and time, we will stop here for now, but we will come back with the second part of this letter. With much love,